Cluck is a darkly comic novel about Henry, an only child whose mother has bipolar disorder. As a teen, Henry becomes a radio junkie lost in the world of music. As a young man, he becomes obsessed with a female DJ whose evening show mysteriously beams out of Idaho and into his car while he’s driving over Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge. Henry has to live his life in the shadow cast by his mother, but he never completely gives up hope that he can find his place. Slowly, when he’s in his thirties, his life starts to open in positive directions, including sporadic success with chicken farming, outsider art (he calls himself a knit reactor), and romance. But, it’s not until Henry is in his fifties that his character is finally defined, but not without one final struggle with his own quirkiness. The stories follow a kind of “life cycle” of expatriates in Hong Kong — a place often called the “most thrilling city on the planet.” They share the feeling of being between two worlds, the experience of being neither here nor there and trying to find a way to fill that space. From the hedonistic first days in How To Pick Up A Maid in Statue Square, as Fast Eddy instructs on how best to approach Filipina maids on their rest day; through the muted middle in Rephrasing Kate, as Kate encounters a charismatic bad boy and is forced to admit her infidelities; to the inevitable end in The Dirty Duck, as Philip realizes his inability to commit and resolves to return home to Australia; Hong Kong alters them all with its frenetic mixture of capitalism and exoticism. Characters exist between the worlds they once knew and this place which now holds them in its spell and shapes them to its ends. Their stories explore how they cope with this space where loneliness and alienation intersect, a place where insomniac young bankers forfeit their ambition while chasing deviant sexual encounters, or consume themselves with climbing the corporate ladder. It is a world where passive domestics live and work for the money they can send home, while their keepers assemble poolside to engage in conversations aroused by the expat’s desire to connect to others who share their fates. Always, of course, there is The Globe a favourite watering hole where, when night falls, they meet to tell their stories.